A scallop harvester from North Carolina is setting up shop in the city's Seafood Industrial Park, increasing the number of scallop operators in the city's harbor to five.
"We will have a record number of scallop operators here," said Doreen Kopacz, Newport News' port development administrator. The city owns the industrial park, and collects rent from businesses operating there.
Kopacz said with waterfront property in such high demand by developers along the East Coast, locations like Seafood Industrial Park become more valuable for the seafood industry.
Meanwhile, the scallop business is lucrative, said Bill Mullis, owner of B&C Seafood, a scallop operator that's also located in Seafood Industrial Park. He said scallops are selling for record high prices. To prevent overfishing, the federal government limits the number of scallop permits.
Chesapeake Atlantic Seafood Harvest is moving four scallop vessels from Oriental, N.C., to Newport News next month, Kopacz said, locating at a one-acre site at the industrial park. They will also have use of a 43,000 square-foot building.